2018 RRPO Recap with Record-Setting Championship Field

2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker was among the 2018 RRPO trophy winners

The World Poker Tour made its first appearance at our November Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” series and the Championship headlined a great two weeks of tournaments.

Seven of the 19 primary events were non-hold’em tournaments and the response from the poker community was strong. Chris Moneymaker, 2003 WSOP Main Event champion, won an event on the first day of the series and Raminder Singh won yet another SHRP trophy. Poker pro David Peters won the $5,000 one-day No Limit Hold’em tournament for the second straight year and Trung Pham won the massive opening event defeating over 4,558 entries.

2018 RRPO champion Pavel Plesuv

But the highlight of the series was the record-setting Championship. The 858 entries in the tournament marked the largest RRPO Championship field in our history and it attracted players from around the world. Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv went wire-to-wire at the WPT live-streamed final table to put his name on the WPT Champions Cup.

You can find complete coverage on all 19 primary events below:

It was another great series and we can’t wait to see everyone back for the 2019 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open January 10 which will feature the $1,000,000 Guarantee WPTDeepStacks Main Event.

Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv Wins WPT RRPO Championship for $504K

2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
Event 12

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed

Entries: 898
Prize Pool: $2,873,600
November 23-28, 2018 

Pavel Plesuv, WPT RRPO Champion

The World Poker Tour came to South Florida this weekend for the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship, a first time for this November series. The Championship had a $2 Million Guarantee which was easily surpassed and the top prize was over $500,000.

After two starting flights, three play down days, and a tough final table, the Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv defeated Jim Gilbert heads-up to put his name on the WPT Champions Cup.

The $3,500 buy-in tournament drew 898 entries for the biggest RRPO Championship field in Seminole Hard Rock history. They created a prize pool worth $2,873,600 and the last 113 spots were paid when they hit the money late on Day 2. Five of our former RRPO champions made it through to Day 2 including defending champ Michael Newman.

We had 52 players move on to Day 3 and Plesuv was not among the leaders. That would change as they progressed and he was fourth of 14 returning for Day 4 to play down to the WPT live-streamed final table. When the dust settled, Plesuv took his seat on the last day with the biggest stack.

The final table had an international flavor with two coming from Europe and another from South Korea. Ravi Raghavan was the only member with his name on the WPT Champions Cup but he was unable to run up his short stack. Chris Kennedy followed shortly after in fifth place and the last four settled in for a long grind.

Austria’s Marius Gierse went out in fourth place and Jeremy Joseph’s exit in third set the heads-up battle. Gilbert faced nearly a six-to-one deficit, doubled up twice, but he was unable to come back.

Jim Gilbert (left) versus Pavel Plesuv (right)

Gilbert, a Philadephia-based pro, earned $326,565 for his runner-up finish and Plesuv took home $504,820 for the win plus a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions.

This win pushed Plesuv’s career earnings over $4,000,000 with half of it coming in 2018. He earned $925,000 for a second place finish at the partypoker Millions in Germany and another $640,000 for a win in the MSPT Las Vegas Main Event this summer. Also, this was not the first time Plesuv was heads-up for a WPT title with the lead.

“I was heads-up in WPT Prague three years ago with a big chip lead,” Plesuv said. “I lost. So I’m really excited to come back and win.”

This was Plesuv’s first trek to South Florida for our series but it will not be the last.

“The tournament was great,” Plesuv said. “I really liked the structure, the field was big and it had great organization. The property is great too.”

Congratulations to Pavel on his WPT RRPO Championship win and a huge thanks to our players for another successful series.

Final table results:

1st: Pavel Plesuv – $504,820
2nd: Jim Gilbert – $326,565
3rd: Jeremy Joseph – $240,945
4th: Marius Gierse – $179,710
5th: Chris Kennedy – $135,505
6th: Ravi Raghavan – $103,310

Richard Whitebrook Snaps Cold Streak With Victory in $150 No-Limit Hold’em

2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
Event 15
$150 No-Limit Hold’em      
Entries: 1,297
Prize Pool: $155,640 
November 28, 2018

Richard Whitebrook wins the $150 no-limit hold’em

Richard Whitebrook put the finishing touches on the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Rock N’ Roll Poker Open with a victory in the $150 no-limit hold’em.

The attorney born and raised in Miami Beach took credit for the victory after the final eight players agreed to a deal based around ICM numbers.

The victory puts a wrap on the series and turns around Whitebrook’s latest downswing.

“It feels great. I’ve had a terrible year,” said Whitebrook. “I haven’t had a good cash since February. I’ve had a terrible series and this was my last shot at some redemption, so this is nice.”

With a couple tables remaining, Whitebrook was one of the shorter stacks. A serious rush of cards came his way and in the blink of an eye, he was leading the pack.

The big blow that put him in the lead for good came when Cory Blum was eliminated in 12th place. There was a three-way all in between Blum, David Poces and Whitebrook.

Poces showed pocket jacks, Blum tabled pocket queens and Whitebrook had ace-king. An ace came on the flop and a king on the river to give Whitebrook the lead for good. He also eliminated Ory Hen at the final table to put even more distance between himself and the rest of the field.

“That was a really big hand,” said Whitebrook about the three-way flip. “I had a hand right before that when I was short and I didn’t call a sship with four,s, where I really almost should’ve and I would’ve had quads. The next hand I had kings, doubled, and then took off after that. I got a chance at redemption.”

As a lawyer, his day job already gave Whitebrook plenty of experience in negotiations. But when it came down to the chop, there wasn’t to negotiate. Whitebrook wasn’t going to budge much from his ICM number.

With second place money locked up, Whitebrook decided to take the money and head home early.

“I mean, the truth is that I would’ve been happy to play it out,” said Whitebrook. “I’ve won tournaments before and if I’m getting second-place money eight-handed, it’s worth it for me. Plus, I like getting the trophy as well.”

The 1,297-entry field paid out the top 81 spots. Here are the final table results:

1st: Richard Whitebrook – $22,000*
2nd: Michael Pawelek – $17,572*
3rd: Zachary Mullennix – $13,958*
4th: David Poces – $13,875*
5th: Irwin Block – $11,003*
6th: Ephraim Uzan – $9,626*
7th: James Hamburger – $9,022*
8th: Roy Paulena – $8,323*
9th: Ory Hen – $2,117

*Indicates adjusted payouts to reflect a chop

Event 8: Richard Whitebrook Wins Title in Eight-Way Chop

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 8 of 1,297

The final eight players took a 10-minute break at the end of level 27 and returned to talks of an ICM chop.

Eventually, they agreed on a deal that was based around the ICM numbers and Richard Whitebrook gets credit for the victory since he held the chip lead at the time the deal was struck. A complete recap with details of the chop will be posted tonight.


Event 15: Ory Hen – 9th Place ($2,117)

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 8 of 1,297

Ory Hen

Alden Belkin was eliminated on the first hand of the final table, which left the final nine players at the final table.

Just a couple hands later, Ory Hen found himself all in for about 900,000 from the hijack against Richard Whitebrook in early position.

Hen showed AhTc and was in trouble against Whitebrook’s KsKc.

The board ran out QdJd9dTd7s and Whitebrook won the pot with a king-high straight, eliminating Hen in ninth place for $2,117.

Richard Whitebrook – 5,500,000
Ory Hen – Eliminated 

Event 15: Richard Whitebrook Leads Final 10 Players

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 10 of 1,297

$150 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table

Patrick Quinn was eliminated in 11th place and the final 10 players redrew for seats at the unofficial final table. With one more elimination, the final nine players will be at the final table.

Everybody is guaranteed at least $1,525 and the winner will walk away with $2,117. Here is a look at the seating arrangement and chip counts of the final 10 players:

Seat 1: Zachary Mullennix – 1,820,000
Seat 2: James Hamburger – 1,150,000
Seat 3: Michael Pawelek – 3,745,000
Seat 4: Irwin Block – 1,675,000
Seat 5: Richard Whitebrook – 4,600,000
Seat 6: Alden Belkin – 150,000
Seat 7: Ephram Uzan – 1,420,000
Seat 8: Roy Paulena – 1,140,000
Seat 9: Ory Hen – 980,000
Seat 10: David Poces – 2,640,000

Event 15: Cory Blum Eliminated in Three-Way All In, Richard Whitebrook Takes Chip Lead

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 11 of 1,297

Richard Whitebrook

There was a three-way all in between David Poces in the hijack, Cory Blum in the cutoff and Richard Whitebrook in the big blind.

Whitebrook was all in for about 1,600,000, which just covered Blum and Poces had all three stacks covered.

Whitebrook held AcKh, Blum showed QcQd and Poces tabled JhJc.

The board ran out Ah7s4d3cKc and Whitebrook won the pot to just about triple up. Blum was eliminated in 12th place and Poces lost about a third of his stack.

Richard Whitebrook – 4,500,000
David Poces – 3,000,000
Cory Blum – Eliminated 

Event 15: David Poces Pulling Away from the Pack

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 26: 25,000/50,000 with a 50,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 13 of 1,297

David Poces

There is about 800,000 in the pot on the turn with the board reading Js7h5h8h.

David Poces led out for 375,000 out of the big blind and Cory Blum called from under the gun.

The river was the Ks and both players checked. Poces shwoed 6h3h and Blum mucked his hand. Poces took the pot and is opening up a big chip lead over the rest of the field.

David Poces – 4,500,000
Cory Blum – 1,450,000


Event 15: Claudio Kalili Eliminated by Ory Hen

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 with a 40,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 20 of 1,297

Ory Hen

Claudio Kalili was short stacked and moved all in from under the gun for about 200,000. Action folded around to Ory Hen in the big blind, who called.

Hen showed KdKc and was in great shape against Kalili’s QsTd.

The board ran out clean as it came 9d9s6cJh3s. Hen’s kings held up to win the pot, which eliminated Kalili in 21st place and moved Hen over a seven-figure chip count.

Ory Hen – 1,050,000
Claudio Kalili – Eliminated 

Event 15: Payouts for 23rd-31st Place

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guarantee | Structure | Payouts
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 with a 40,000 BB ante
Players Remaining: 22 of 1,297

Here are the most recent payouts:

31st: Michel Dubreuil – $747
30th: Salim Salem – $747
29th: Samuel Borger – $747
28th: Shaun Glennon – $747
27th: Alejandro Armas – $872
26th: Irwin Cohen – $872
25th: Steven Fostoff – $872
24th: Stuart Greenbaum – $872
23rd: George Qiao – $872